When you are driving and cannot stop thinking about everything you need to get done, you may be tempted to try and multitask. Maybe you decide to eat your lunch while you drive to your next appointment. Perhaps you decide to get on the freeway so you can at least be on your way before you program your GPS. While these behaviors may seem harmless, they can actually be incredibly dangerous to you and others.

Your commitment to staying vigilant and practicing responsible driving is of paramount importance if you wish to prevent an unnecessary and potentially fatal accident from happening.

Distraction and your brain

Farmers Insurance shared the results of a study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging that tested the effects of distractions on a person’s brain. When participants were asked questions while they were multitasking and driving, they were at a much higher risk of crashing their vehicle because the portion of their brain responsible for processing movement and spacial awareness decreased dramatically.

This is proof that if you choose to do other things while you are driving, your brain activity is directly affected and the results could be perilous. Distractions can come in various forms including manual, cognitive and visual tasks that prevent you from focusing on driving.

Committing to responsibility

Perhaps the most effective thing you can do to avoid distractions while you are driving is to make a verbal commitment to yourself that you will be a responsible and vigilant driver. Refrain from using your phone, eating, having intense conversations or consuming alcohol or drugs that could impair your ability to think and focus. Your decision to be responsible could be the difference in keeping you and your passengers safe from harm.